I have never made New Year’s resolutions. I suspect that I think too much and I know that I am not going to wake up on any January 1 and be a substantially different person who could suddenly achieve everything I could not in the previous year. I mean seriously, I could resolve to lose weight or exercise more but I would fail. Miserably. I suspect most people are unable to meet their resolutions and then just feel miserable about themselves. Here is the thing, we as human beings are incapable of wholesale change. We do not suddenly become different people because of an arbitrary date on a calendar.
A blog posting has been circulating for a bit: 30 things to stop doing to yourself is a great list of things we can stop doing and treat ourselves better. There are some great things there like: “Stop putting your own needs on the back burner.” I am infamous for this. I have am starting to realize that I need to live differently or my body rebels. Self-care for me is imperative or I cannot take care of anyone else. I also need to surround myself with people who care about what I need. I am fortunate to have people in my life who do care about me and show it in myriad ways. Number 17 also has importance for me: “Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself.” Living with a chronic illness that can rear its head at inopportune moments and which causes me a lot of pain and fatigue, it is very easy to complain and not push myself. Instead, I try to remember that on most days it does get better once I am up and going. I also need to take some steps to mitigate some of the effects of my ulcerative colitis. What little control I have, I must exercise it.
I have a really bad urge/need to constantly explain myself to others (number 20 on the list). I have reverted to this a lot in the last year given the hell on earth I endured this year. I must stop. It makes me look petty and defensive. It is completely unnecessary as I am very good at my job and I just need to believe it.
Being the perfectionist that I am, I am forever saying things are fine when they are not (number 25 on the list). I used to joke that I had to schedule my breakdown or that there was no time for my crisis. I don’t do that as much anymore. I am trying to learn to value how I feel. I am setting boundaries much more freely now. Now, if I can just extend that to my family of origin.
Where is this all going you ask? Well, given that I don’t believe humans are capable of wholesale change how do we make changes. I believe we do it incrementally. I came across this blog and it makes great sense. Selecting 3 words that will guide your life in the next year is a great way to make some small changes that will eventually add up. Here are the words I have chosen for 2012: Reduce, Listen, Harmony.
What do the words mean to me:
I want to reduce all sorts of things. Back to the ulcerative colitis, I want to reduce my dependence on pain medications that cause fatigue. This has been underway for sometime and I have been successful. I am now taking over 60% less pain medication than I did a year ago. I am hoping that further reductions will reduce my fatigue. I want to reduce many things in 2012. I may blog about some other ‘reductions’ as the year goes on.
I am a horrible listener. I have a habit of thinking that I know what people are going to say and then tuning out. I am also hoping that if I develop a habit of listening more carefully I will be less defensive. I pledge to listen more to others and myself.
I am hoping to have more time where I feel good about my world. I want to incorporate much more self-care into my life. I believe that becoming more harmonious with the world around me and not fighting against everything will help me feel better. Part of this for me will be withdrawing from spending too much time on the computer. I have enjoyed getting back in touch with crocheting and the almost meditative state it can put me in. I really must reduce the stress in my life as my body is rebelling.
What about you? Do you make resolutions?
 More on that later.